Jan
01

I am Important and so Are You ~ The First Seed of Hope

By

I am important the first seed of hope
the road can be beautiful

I am important. And so are you.

I have just as much importance as any other human being on this planet and that includes the presidents, movie stars, doctors, lawyers, teachers, my parents, grandparents, geniuses, famous inventers, authors royalty and  all others. And so do you.

A job, a profession, or a gift or title does not make some people more valuable than other people.  

People are People.

I am special. I am the same amount of special as any other human being.  And so are you.

I am valuable. I am just as valuable as any other person on this earth. And so are you.

I have a choice. I had to learn this truth before I tried it out, but today I know that I have a choice about the way that I am treated. I have choices about where I go and who I hang out with. I am not obligated to love. I am not owned by anyone. I can choose to say yes, or to say no. And so can you.

I can think for myself. And so can you.  I had to learn this truth, and I had to learn HOW to do this because it was never encouraged in the past, but I did it. And so can you.

People are people

I am just as smart as anyone else. And so are you. People have different gifts, but that is not a measure of intelligence. “Smart” comes in all kinds of packages and has many different colours. I didn’t know this before; I had to learn this truth, but I did learn it and I embrace it today and so can you.

I don’t have to believe the lies that I was raised with about ME any more.  Through this process of recovery, I found the original me; I found my gifts, my purpose and my individuality and I took all of it back. I took my life back and I live my life now, in wholeness and fullness. And so can you.

People cannot determine my value. That is not up to them. They can kick me down and call me stupid; they can sneer down their noses at me and turn their backs and call me a liar; it does not mean that they are right. They can reject me for my decisions to stand up for myself, but they can’t decide who I am.

These past few years I have LOVED celebrating the New Year. Since I have taken my life back, I love to reflect on the year coming to a close. 2011 has been fantastic. I accomplished many of the things that I set out to accomplish both personally and professionally.  My family continues to recover from living in an abusive system.  We grow closer with each passing month. My children are growing up beautifully and my marriage continues to flourish. I have so much to be grateful for and I am grateful every day. 

This whole recovery thing began when I first had the thought that I could recover. My new life began with a tiny seed of hope. At first I only believed that I could feel better enough to want to get out of bed in the morning and finish raising my kids who were then ages 7, 11 and 13. With the first discovery of the first false belief system I had, I believed that I could recover from the constant depressions and dissociative identity disorder that plagued my life.  Then I realized the roots of those debilitating issues in my life and little by little I had the courage to face those roots. Each new discovery helped me to move forward to the next discovery. Each thing I faced led me to a new truth hidden in the lies of my life.  Each forward movement led me to greater and greater freedom and wholeness and it all started with that little flame of hope and belief that it could be done and that I could do it.

My entire family has benefited from this process. My kids know that overcoming depression and dysfunction IS possible. They’ve lived through it. They know that relationship is two sided and that they have a choice. They know the true definition of love.

To all those who are still struggling to overcome; to all those who are still trying to come out of the fog and to take your own life and power back;

YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.

All things were possible when I believed that they were.  The truth, as painful as it was, set me free.

Happy New Year; I am grateful for each of you; I appreciate all that you contribute and share with me here and wish each of you a wonderful, healing 2012.

Bright blessings, hugs and squishes;

Darlene Ouimet

More Related Posts ~ See words in bold print and highlighted

My relationship with me ~ Emotional Healing

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness

58 Comments

1

Hi Darlene,

Happy new year to you! That’s really cool to hear the new year is a celebration for you. I’d like to get to that stage someday! Can’t really see it right now though.

I’m feeling really weird right now. I’m feeling angry at my parents & blaming them for my porn problem (arguably addiction. I’ve read a few things about it lately saying it’s an addiction like drugs/gambling etc). Apart from the obvious bit (finding porn my father had accessed on his computer when I was young), I’ve been realizing that they’ve basically forced me in that direction anyway.

What I mean by that is that from the first time I started showing any interest in girls (as in actually had a girlfriend – this only happened because she asked me out; I was too scared of girls then) they acted like it was something to be ashamed of. They’d act all weird when I told them I had a girlfriend, and I remember the handful of times I did growing up, always feeling like I didn’t want to tell them because I knew how they’d react (but they’d obviously trained me so well that not telling them things was the same as lying and therefore a sin that I don’t think I even considered that as a possiblity).

So they actively discouraged me from seeking any sort of normal healthy relationship with a girl from day f**king one. It just became easier for me to use porn after they were asleep, rather than put up with all the shit they’d give me if I tried to pursue a relationship with a real girl. And once I actually started having sex, it only got worse. I’m so angry about all the shit they’ve pulled.

Also realized only fairly recently the hypocrisy/f**king stupidity that they actually banned us from watching children’s cartoons etc at various stages, yet let us watch comedy movies with allusions to hardcore sex acts (including beastiality). I won’t list everything off here, but surely this shouldn’t have been f**king rocket science. I was pretty damn young when I would have seen some of these movies (not sure exactly how old).

My whole f**king life has been ruled by fear. I can never get it back. I never learned to truly think for myself. (I know I do in some ways, but you know what I mean). In fact I was specifically trained NOT to think for myself. I’ve got a kinda dull but pretty bad headache right now. I’m feeling kinda numb but kinda tingly at the same time. Even though I said I was angry, I don’t think I’m really feeling it. I’m just so sick of it all. But I’m still scared to walk away from it & have to be stuck with myself in my new place where everything’s unfamiliar and I don’t have any places to eat nearby where I know people (that’s been the vast bulk of my social interactions last year or two – friendly people who work at places I go to eat. And there’s days where I can’t even manage to get out of the house for that reason. Or I get to the carpark and can’t make myself leave the car and just sit there for an hour sometimes and then go home again).

I’m not feeling very positive. I’m feeling very alone & like I have to make myself be even MORE alone to get away from all this family shit. And then I think I just want to cut off completely from the handful of friends I have left, but I don’t know if I’m just being too picky/having too high standards etc. It’s all very confusing.

Oh well enough for now.

2

I just read Michelle’s post on “My Parents did the best they could”. I realized in reading it that I still feel like my parents’ abuse wasn’t “as bad” as other people’s because it wasn’t physical or sexual. And/or like I “don’t deserve” to blame them for my dysfunctions, that I must still believe it’s all my own fault deep down. I don’t know what to do.

Maybe it’s the whole new years thing and seeing all their other friends and their dysfunctions and that sort of shit that’s brought me down without noticing it. Or being reminded how many of them would almost certainly stand up for them as being wonderful people, and quite possibly attack me if I started talking about the abuse I suffered. I still don’t really believe it “counts” as abuse I guess. I’m scared that it wasn’t, and that other people could easily convince me it wasn’t (or at least, if they got angry at me, I’d tell them I didn’t believe it was abuse just so they’d leave me alone).

It’s so fucking easy to just go along with the status quo. I hate it. I’m also scared about having people confront me for things I did in my youth (including bullying). Although I guess I understand it better when I realize that that’s what was happening to me, I don’t know what to do about it & the guilt/fear I feel. I don’t even know if it’s actual regret, or just guilt/fear of having people I bullied “unmask” me publicly or something. (I think there is regret in there, but there’s also the selfish stuff). So sick of all this shit. Sorryu for all the negativity again.

3

sorry still going…. just read last post from Daniel F in “My relationship with me” you linked above. This part he wrote really resonated with me:

“Often what happens is once I feel safe again or receive compassion or even just recognition, I cry it out, realizing I have been ignoring my self. I cry from the pain and pressure of containment, emotional self abuse.”

I still get confused about if I”m dissociative or not. I think I am. I probably believe I am. I guess because my GP doesn’t seem to take it seriously or do anything about it (actually I don’t even know if there IS anything to do) I feel like I’m wrong. Same w/borderline personality etc.

Anyway I realized I usually end up crying the few times I feel like someone cares about me. Or feel like crying at least. I’m so sick of this crushing feeling in my head. I’m so tired. I can never seem to find comfort even lying down. It’s so annoying. And I don’t want to move out because there’s so much to do to try and make it a place where I don’t just feel completely trapped, but I’ve got so little energy or motivation. It seems like the only option is to hold on to the couple of friends I have (even if they don’t always seem very positive relationships) to at least try and distract myself occasionally and not always be alone. I dunno.

Sorry about this. Don’t feel like I could sleep yet, but very tired.

4

Hi J.
You are processing some big stuff. I know it hurts and it is confusing but it is still good.
Just a few points
~How can a child learn how to have a relationship if relationships were modeled abusively in the first place?
~ it might interest you to know that EVERYONE thinks everyone else’s abuse was worse than theirs. It is kind of a protection thing. Abuse is abuse and all of it does damage. Remember we are trying to face the truth about the damage. That is the beginning of recovery.
~I had trouble receiving positive recognition too ~ I think that it was partly because positive recognition in the past always had a motive attached. People were “nice to me” when they wanted to use me for something.
Hang in there J.
Hugs, Darlene

5

hi darlene and happy new year to you.
i have made big inroads on my plans in the last 12 months and alot of it was kick started by your blog, and for that i am soooo thnakful. hopefull bu the summer i will have the BA (Hons) and once ive cracked the therapy i will put inot practise my plans as till i have done the therapy i cannot do the lectures, in case i get triggered by a question. so at least im realistic enough to have the self care and the foresight not to leave my self open to ambushes from the past.
my world has expanded yet decreased and i have found the phyiscal isolation th ehardest ass i am a talker through rather than brewin on. but having here to speak about how certain issues still affect me has been so helpful and opened my eyes and heart to other ways of seeing things. so thank you

6

Hi Carol
Happy New Year to you too! Congrats on all you have accomplished this past couple of years! Thank you for sharing and being a part of my blog too. I look forward to hearing about your future and the differences that you are going to make!
Hugs, Darlene

7

Thanks for your msg Darlene.

I feel unsure how to face the truth (or exactly what it means to face it or something). I guess it’s what I’m trying to do by posting here on EFB. But I don’t even trust my own memory that well – so many things seem hazy (or just plain gone). Also I worry that depression is exaggerating my memories, or just making me remember the bad & forget the good. (Although my mother has accused me of only remembering the bad years ago when I must’ve stood up 2 her about something. I don’t remember what I said though. I remember her crying a few times from things I said. I don’t know if this was manipulation or genuine.)

I guess when I think about facing the truth, I feel like I’m trying to, but everyone else in my family just wants to maintain status quo (both with me, and in their interactions with each other/grandparents etc) So I don’t know what to do. Guess it feels like I should cut off but I’m scared to.

I’m not exactly sure what you meant by positive recognition sorry. Was that related to s/thing specific from my posts, or just general?

Anyway now that the sun’s up I seem to finally be getting tired so I’m gonna cruise.

8

This is the very first thing I’ve read in 2012 and it was the perfect first thing. 🙂 Thanks Darlene.

9

Hi J.
Ya, I heard that my whole life too ~ that I only remember the bad. My mother even groomed me on that one by telling me all the time how everyone has a different memory of how things happened. I think that was so that when I started to talk she could ax the memory right away by telling me I remembered it wrong. I know what I know though. Eventually I stopped doubting myself. Hang in there ~ it takes time.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Carla!
Great to see you! Thanks for your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

10

Dear Darlene May I wish you also a Happy New Year. and to everyone here.

Saying Happy new year to others frighten’s me when I wish it on others who have also endured great Adversity and suffering. As I have. it’s actually the most painful word and wish anyone could say to me. YET”. To Emerge from ”Broken I so need to hear and feel it. My dont I ramble. as I avoid my pain. Darlene I call myself a ”SURVIVOR”). Yet this is my most lonely and isolated time of my entire life. This after 12 whole years of meeting wonderful people participating in so many meeting’s. helping shape services etc. many a Media interview. on many an issue. Poem’s published Live recital’s included. much much more. yet I have no friend to meet up with to go places with to share interest’e. no partnerI yearn so much for. I have alway’s felt the most cursed/Unlucky person in the world. So many people have truelly used and abused me. Yet if I told this to a Health professional our a Social worker they would think it’s (ALL IN THE MIND) There is something wrong with my mind ? it’s ”ME”. And not those who have so violently and emotionally drained me of ”HOPE” To Emerge from Broken). Darlene You are truelly wonderfully inspirational. I really should be here each and every day. sharing with you all. But the truth is I have been far far to unwell. Im fighting for my life every waking second. Due to ongoing abuse and deliberate neglect. a bit of a vile ”Hate Campaign” going on im so helpless to defend against. Yet still Darlence/Everyone. Im afighter. and im determined not to give in to the pain other’s inflict on me for their sick gratification. It is they who need to shoulder the blame not us the ”VICTIM’S. Im on the right Road Darlene as I know you are waiting at the other end. Much care to all. Paul.

11

Another thing I’ve been noticing is my parents seem to feel the need to always tell me what they’re doing/where they’re going etc. They even talk at me if I’m on the toilet. Feels like they just need to invade my space no matter where I am. One will come in to tell me they’re going out, then 2 minutes later the other one will come in to tell me they’re going out (I’m not talking about the toilet anymore, btw! Although when I was younger that would happen, until I finally started locking the door. Felt like I wasn’t allowed to before).

12

J,
I measure my abuse by the same standards you do. I had no sexual or physical abuse either. But, I know from my twisted mindset, my anguish, depression, anxiety, longing for isolation, etc etc, that there was a lot of emotional and verbal abuse. (my sisters have helped confirm this as well ~ thankfully, we all agree and that’s huge in terms of validation for me) I’ve worked hard at uncovering truths as Darlene suggested. I am desperate to be on a path to recovery. Because much of my life has been suffering within the confines of my own mind, I know I have to do something different, and permanent. I have allowed abuse in my adult life, and I’ve acted irrationally at times in my adult life. I know the anger and at times rage. It seems easier for me to see other peoples situations as clear abuse, yet at times, I question my own. It’s all a part of the mixed messages and just screwed up thinking I was surrounded with I think. It makes no sense to a victim because, 1) my mother purposely designed it to make no sense in my opinion, and 2) how can anyone make sense of stupid things their parents did/said, when we’re trained to believe they are our protectors and love us unconditionally, 3) It’s hard to make sense of things because it truly doesn’t make sense, especially from someone who’s life is about lies, manipulation, gossip, etc. How can I hope to make sense of that?? Earlier in 2011 I spent so much time trying to decide if my mother loved me; was this or that done in love or manipulation. I got so desperate at times trying to make sense of it all. What I concluded from it all was, it seems nearly impossible that the abuse wasn’t real if I’m feeling and thinking this way. My mother also had so many people manipulated – extended family, friends, etc. I felt like the world’s biggest A$$ at most all gatherings. I think with age, I’ve realized it doesn’t matter that much. My mental health has finally started to matter to me more than what other people believe from my mother. 10 years ago, I could not have done this. There were still too many people who mattered so much to me. My grandfather and my mom’s sister have both passed away now. I valued their love and acceptance of me. My mom doesn’t speak to her brother so that’s one relationship that’s still intact for me. My mom’s mother is still living, and I love her dearly, but, at nearly 90, she really isn’t in a place where she takes a part in the drama, although my mother still goes to her weekly, crying and lying, seeking her sympathy. My poor grandma. Is there anyone you think MIGHT suspect the truth of your situation that you can talk to?? It sure helps to have someone who sees the truth in my opinion; aside from all of us here who support you ~ and I do support and believe you J. I am hoping you find the courage to move forward and start staying at your place. You might find so much liberty and freedom, you will LOVE it there!! It is possible! 🙂
Much love,
Mimi

13

Hi Paul
I can relate to your post. I was involved in a couple of huge self help organizations for years, speaking and all kind of things; I was a survivor, but I was not thriving yet and I never had the impact then that I do now that I have overcome all the messages and labels from the past. I had to see how my self got broken in order to find the roots that needed to be healed. I hope that you will stop by more often Paul. There is a lot of healing here. Lots of sharing, compassion and understanding. (not just from me) Do it for you.
Thank you for your courage in sharing today
Hugs, Darlene

14

I had an upside down view of the world for most of my life and that view not only caused me to be depressed and anxious, it took my self-respect,my self-defense,my identity,and love for myself away. I was trying to find all of these things by trying to shape myself to the expectations of others. I began to see things differently when I discovered the importance of personal boundaries. I could see myself as an individual, with value, whether I met the expectations of anyone else, or not. Implementing boundaries was no unlike the surgery that conjoined twins need to become individuals. It was dangerous and painful. I’m still recovering from the surgery but I am whole, independent, and finally, finding all those things that I lost while living to please others, in God and myself. The world is right side up now and life is much easier to negotiate.:0)

Love,
Pam

15

Mimi, I can’t help but relate what you’ve written to our discussion on another thread, concerning finding the truth for one’s self by reading the Bible. I think it is the same kind of quest for truth when we begin working to unravel the effects of abuse. Really, deep inside we know what is true but we have to start by believing that truth and not how others interpret it. Finally, believing Me was the key that is freeing me from being haunted by my childhood. The ghosts who troubled me, made me depressed, angry, and anxious were the product of what people who claimed to love me,defined my childhood.The truth really does set us free but we have to have the courage to leave everything and possibly, everyone that we know to pursue that truth.

Love,
Pam

16

Pam,
Thank you for commenting. I’ve been mentally preparing myself; trying to accept there is little if any love from my mother, and now my oldest sister. My middle sister and I still talk. I keep thinking if I give them something to chew on, THEY will decide to cut contact. Although that would hurt, at least they can’t blame me for severing ties. I haven’t found a way to do that just yet. I wanted to wait until Holidays were over first of all. Now, the window of opportunity is wide open because I got an email from mother yesterday saying she has concluded it’s her I was avoiding when I opted out of her family gathering. She said she knew I had seen most other family, but not her. It was a gushy email, she missed her baby girl at christmas for the first time in my whole life. Wants to know what she did wrong, or do I and my sisters just want her to bow out of our lives. It came from left field, so it’s still in the mental processing plant. UGH… peace is what I seek. It would be so much easier if she knew how to love like a committed mother does. Thanks Pam!!
love,
Mimi

17

Hi Mimi,

thanks so much for your reply! Was feeling pretty lousy when I wrote those last posts. I’m still nocturnal but feeling ok at the moment. (and I’ll take whatever I can get of feeling ok, quite frankly!) 🙂

“Suffering in the confines of my own mind” – what an eloquent way of describing it! I know that feeling.

Sorry brain’s a bit all over the place again I’m discovering. There are a handful of people I can talk to, but mostly all in professional settings, so usually feels like I can’t see them (or afford to) often enough. My sibling is a tricky one – at one stage I’d kinda thought I could talk about it, but in probably my worst time earlier this year I discovered that my sib is significantly more f**ked up than I’d realized, and after I’d called asking for help, it turned into me listening to my sib’s problems instead. It was kinda a double whammy, cos I didn’t get to talk about my stuff, and also discovered some of the repressed rage I hadn’t realized was lurking underneath my sib’s mostly functional exterior. That was when I decided it was probably better for my sib if I just backed off altogether (from both my stuff and my sib’s).

Btw I like what you said about your mental health finally mattering more to you. I feel like that’s where I’ve got to this year. Some of my chosen reactions to the realization/better understanding of the abuse are arguably non-productive….. actually I think that’s my “guilt” voice talking there! I was thinking of things like choosing not to help around the house much (instead of guilting myself about it when I don’t feel able to) and not really bothering trying to engage with my parents etc. I think they feel positive though in terms of trying to protect myself from catching s**t from them.

Btw thanks so much for your support & belief Mimi! That’s really lovely of you! And your encouragement about new place…. this is such a big sticking point for me, and I think I’m blaming myself for feeling this way. But it’s been something I thought I’d never be able to do (literally), so it’s very confronting to suddenly be there. Also losing the familiarity/routine (not much admittedly, but going from something to nothing feels very scary). And also having to do things myself – my mother is very controlling over things having to be done “her way” (household chores etc) so I’ve tended to just give up and let her do them rather than open myself to more s**t about me not doing things “the right way” etc. Unfortunately this of course means I don’t know how to do many household-type things; and I’m well out of any habit of doing much. But just got to be gentle on myself & take it one step at a time, right? 🙂

Try and find some places to go where I feel comfortable; some things I can enjoy doing etc and slowly build things in. Self-care feels like first priority though. As in just sleeping when I need to; hopefully in time my sleep will settle down somewhat and I’ll find a bit of energy/motivation again.

thanks again for your thoughts! Sorry I haven’t really replied to what you wrote about yourself – maybe later

take care!

J

18

Mimi
If the truth can set me free, I figure it can set everyone else free too. Taking the truth road however is never very easy and there are great risks and unforeseen shadows… but there is freedom on the other side. If your mother asked, perhaps she is ready to hear the answer.
(p.s.beware of the pathetic “do you just want me to bow out of your life” tactic)
Love Darlene

19

a great post it has been this way for me step by tiny step towards realisations uncovering truths, removing the layers of lies imposed so long ago lies a young child had no way of understanding. Now as an adult having to analyse them for myself having to heal myself from those inhuman actions and letting go of the false beliefs force fed into my trusting young mind. And beginning looking at me as if for the very first time. thank you for the prompts and reflections that aid this painful yet positive process Darlene

20

do so wish there was a way i could like comments made by others, as there have been many on here that ring a bell but by the time i get to the bottom to type my thoughts have gone from my head, lol. thanks darlene will keep ya up to date, and no doubt you will see alot of me on here when my therapy starts lol, though i might stay away imnot sure depends on how things go wont it. hugs

21

Mimi,

I agree with Darlene. Beware of the gushy, what did I do wrong? crap. It’s BS. It’s hoping to guilt trip you back into their control. They fain hurt and claim they want to know what went wrong but it’s false. If you want to know just how fake, call her up and give her a list of all she’s done wrong and watch just how quick she’ll turn on you as if you are prey and she is starving. I know this from experience. This is actually how I ended up severing ties with my mom. I called her bluff and she went on the attack pulling out things that happened 10-20 years back and throwing them in my face saying how much I’d hurt her and how she’s given me everything and all I give her is a kick in the teeth. Well, I exploded and told her that she wouldn’t know love if it smacked her in the face. I told her she was a miserable stupid (bleeping) hag and asked her what was wrong with her. That pretty much ended that. She hung up on me and we’ve not spoken since though she did try to use my mother-in-law to get at my kids for awhile. She has given up it seems. She’s never had a word to say to me and I did sent her a letter to apologize for the language but not the sentiment further outlining my issues with her. It’s taken a year but it seems she is going to leave the kids alone too. No Christmas gifts or cards this year…finally! It was harsh but I am glad it happened. A person who truly loved me would have gotten on a plane and answered my letter filled with every abuse I can remember face to face. I don’t miss her games or BS. Period. And it wasn’t until she was out of my life that I was fully able to deal with my own mental health.

22

You know, years ago I struggled with panic attacks. For the first time since then, I’m taking medication (in a very small dose, but still….). Now this evening I’m in fear and anxiety. I’m not sure I’ve ever made the connection between the anxiety and my mother, but I have to wonder if it is rooted in her iron fist and abusive ways. She convinced me years ago it was from my dad’s alcoholism and rage at times. I’m starting to think it’s from her and never measuring up. I know this is off the subject of her email, but I do want to be completely rid of anxiety and depression someday. Since it has hit me the day after, I wonder if the email sparked it. I still haven’t settled on a response, but what you ladies have said makes soooooo much sense. I thank you so much for continuing to comment. I’m in a “place” right now for sure!! I am afraid!!
xoxo,
Mimi

23

Carol,
I often wish there was that kind of like button on here too!!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Beverly
I love your comments here. I am gald that my work resonates with you as well!
Hugs, Darlene

24

Mimi
I had a ton of anxiety over the mere thought of standing up for myself. And it took a long time for me to stop having the adrenalin rush associated with doing it! The fear was incredible and it took me a while to make the connections, so go easy with yourself. I didn’t make all the connections right away and even the actions of standing up for myself came slowly. As the fog lifted and I acknowledged the truth about the damage, that was when I was ready to stand up and stand on my boundary. For me I had to look at what exactly the anxiety (which was really fear) was and what I was so afraid of. Then i had to ask myself if that fear was realistic. It never was because I could come up with a plan of legal action for most of them and I told myself I WOULD charge people from here on in if they did illegal actions towards me, including for harassment.
Post as much as you need to here,
Hugs, Darlene

Jen,
Great comments. This is very similar to my own story with my in-laws and my own family too.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

25

My therapist gave me a poem and asked me to read it out aloud. It was along the lines of this post. ‘I am important, I am lovable and I deserve to be happy, etc etc. It wasSO HARD TO READ IT! because I felt like I was being cheeky and over self assertive, and I still can’t believe the effect it had on me. She told me to take it home, I am unable to find it, even if I could it’s like I’ve put it on the shelf to deal with later. I was just not brought up to believe I had the worth or importance the poem spoke of. A really hard one for me.. Ps. I am withdrawing from oxycontin ATM, my surgery was a success, the found what we suspected was causing all the problems so yay for that! ( I felt sooo validated when the dr told me the results of the post op tests)
so yeah I’m really crook but I’ll get there 🙂

Xo

26

Hi all!!
Darlene, I had such a revelation last night. (I believe). Remember I had stood up to my teacher in Microbiology? I really didn’t have much trouble doing it, I was so angry I had the motivation. I didn’t really experience fear. I had a flood of emotion, I remember, and tears in my eyes. It occurred to me just last night, when this sort of thing happens in my life and if I’ve responded by standing up for myself, it’s always done with enormous internal anguish and turmoil, and usually anger, although I always try to contain that (so I don’t appear crazy). With the anxiety of yesterday and what you wrote, I think I made a connection (yahoo)!! I wonder if never being able to stand up to mother dear has spilled over and the result has been a flood of misdirected emotions/anger when I DO stand up to other people. They get the brunt of my intense emotions that I’ve never been able to release on my mother. Seems like there could be a connection anyway. I love this place Darlene!!! Thank you so much again!!
Love,
Mimi

27

At the risk of sounding contrary (but not meaning to), I’ve always wondered why the hell they call it “taking back your life.”
In my opinion, nobody else but me HAD my life. And I guess I’m too annoyingly literal to understand how another person could have it. I’m the only one who’s EVER had my life. I don’t have to take it back from anyone, b/c they never had it in the first place.
They’ve got nothing worth taking, and it makes me almost physically ill to believe that anyone other than myself has ever had my ‘life.’
Letting someone do what certain people call ‘live rent-free in your head’ isn’t the same as that person having my entire life. Believing it when they tell me I’ll “never amount to anything” isn’t the same as them having my life. My life is something different from what I believe. I had a near-death experience and felt my life as a soul, which doesn’t die, but my whole soul doesn’t get consumed just b/c they tell me I’m useless. Believing I’m useless is only one part of my life, not the whole damn thing.
That’s how I think of it, and I have no idea if my ideas make any sense to other people. They ring true to me though, so I guess that’s an important beginning.
But I just can’t understand why someone would equate letting yourself be upset with that person as meaning the person ‘has your life and you have to take it back.’
If I thought that way, I’d never get better, so I don’t think it. And I certainly don’t believe it.
I believe I’m the only one who can help myself and that it’s going to so difficult to actually do it that I might die in the process. OTOH I still don’t believe the person has my life and that I have to take it back.
I’m not willing to GIVE them my entire life. I don’t think I’ve given ANYone that.

28

Hi Michelle
I totally relate to this; I went through it a lot in the first year or so of my process. Your realizing this is actually a really positive thing!
Congrats on your surgery! Yay that they found the root of the problem!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mimi
YAY for your revelation! I can relate to that too! For me it had so much to do with the default mode fear of rejection and what rejection meant to me. (another false belief system I had to bust open)
This is great! thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene

29

Darlene,
I suppose that’s true for me too. Rejection is huge and when something touches that deep wound, I just react with all the emotions I’ve never given back to mommy dearest!! I tell ya, the pain has been hell, but I’m now looking at it as a just a part of the path to TOTAL healing. I want that so deeply. My life has been more messed up than I ever realized and I want it to be different, more peace and joy, and ZERO depression, anxiety, fear, or anger. I get more excited and dedicated with each new truth!! Thank you for your support Darlene!! Your blogspot has truly given me the tools and courage to make changes. Before I came here, I was at a total dead end. I appreciate your blog so much!! <3
Peace always,
Mimi

30

Mimi,

26, this is what I always wondered about my own parents. How could they be so angry at me when I was a baby and a small child and a person with no life experience? I mean why would a mother be mad at her child for having bowel movements, and hair to comb, and spilling her milk, stomach aches??

It seemed that they were really angry at someone who mistreated them, someone who had advantage over them, probably their own relatives.

31

I didn’t know what disassociative was, I thought I just coping. I didn’t realize I was getting numb until I became canatonic,that scared the crap out of me. I purposely was disconnected at my Mom’s funeral, I had to be, my siblings were a nightmare. I had to remind myself I was there out of respect. I wasn’t about to take their bait and get involved in their high drama and get into a knock down drag out. That was the last time I needed to numb myself to get through it. I looked at them like these strange animals, I couldn’t relate to them at all. That’s what distancing yourself does. It allows you to step back and see them for what they really are. Weak, crazy, evil, people. They no longer have the power to control me, they don’t control themselves or their actions. They follow the script and are to ill to to rise above anything. They continue with emotional blackmail even after our parents death. I have a right to make choices, to cancel out what is not edifying or healthy for me. I never wished death on them but I am glad I outlasted my parents and my abuser brother. I am surprised I did after coming so near death 10 yrs ago. There is a reason I survived them. Maybe I will find all of me and put the pieces back where they belong. For the first time I don’t just wish it, I know I have great things to look forward to.

32

Hi Mary
Dissociative is a coping. It was certainly a major way that I coped. It scared me to, but once I understood it I was able to stop doing it. It took awhile, it was part of the process of recovery but today I don’t do it. There are some situations where I have to talk to myself in my head to prevent myself for doing it (airports are the worst for some reason) and sometimes I get triggered by other situations, but it is always about my past fears being triggered. I found out my reason and my purpose. I found all of me and put the pieces of me back together. There is hope. That is why I do this writing; to tell others.
Glad you are here. YOU do have great things to look forward to.
Hugs, Darlene

33

Hi I do agree to what you have put. Ive taken a very long time to start to Believing Thats what I need to do is not have any thing to do with people from my past but its not that easy but Im trying.
From Clare

34

Hi Clare,
No nothing about this is easy, but it is doable!
Hugs, Darlene

35

The best way I can describe dissassociation is that it’s like being on autopilot. I was like that for years!! I used to wonder why I would ‘zone out’ (no drugs or alcohol involved at all) whilst I was driving to work, any situation that had me even mildly anxious.

Then years later during the court case ( from the decision to press charges right through until I said good bye to my ‘mum’ in my heart; it’s been about two years now) after I gave my police statement I felll’ into severe dissasociation. The curtains just closed. (no more michelle, just an empty shell ;)That was when everything slowed down even time, it seemed. I was hospitalized and had to inch my way back to normality. It took time, support (the mental health team saved my life.. )and discipline. I never thought I would be any different to that, I never thought I could be well. I have had another illnesss and subsequent oxy addiction but never the severe lack of ‘brain power’ and clarity I suffered from back in the ‘fog’. I have other toxic ppl in my life, but I am learning how to deal with them too. I do not and will not see my ‘mother’ again. Unless I bump into her somewhere, I’d like to ignore and pretend not to see her. I REALLY HOPE I can do that. But I won’t be too hard on myself if I fall short of my own expectations, because I am am on a totally different planet now than what I was when she last saw me. YAY !

Ps. I had my last oxycontin 32 hrs ago and I have weaned off very slowly leading up to that.. I will be in the worst of the withdrawals by tonight/tomorrow… Wish me luck!!

36

I wrote this poem the day after I was discharged from the mental health unit.
I don’t think I have posted it before, but it seemed applicable considering the last few posts.
I dedicated it to all mental health workers, and support people. And it’s also for you Darlene, because without you a lot of us would still be struggling and without support. Thankyou.

THE OWL and THE BIRD

 
 
                         There once was a bird,
Who flew high in the sky

Higher and higher,

He so loved to fly

 

He soared above the earth,

and watched over all

So engrossed he became,

He barely noticed his fall

 

He fell to the ground

And injured his wing,

He lay for sometime

Hurt, lost and crying

 

Not far away

A wise owl heard his cry,

He left from his perch,

To go find out why

 

He found the bird down

His face on the ground,

The owl landed softly

Without making a sound

 

The bird felt his calm presence,

And opened his eyes

He saw the wise owl,

And continued to cry

 

The owl stretched out his wing,

And sheltered the bird

He sat and he listened,

To every single word

 

The bird said ‘I am hurt,

sad and alone,

I miss my family,

And I miss my home

 

But here I am stuck,

I cant fly anymore

Will you help me get home?

So once again I can soar?’

 

The owl looked at his wing,

And knew what to do

‘I have just the right thing

Needed to mend you’

 

‘Come with me now,

It may hurt for a while

But follow me closely,

And soon you will smile’

 

The bird followed the owl

And started to heal,

And wisdom and knowledge

The owl would reveal

 

The bird wondered and asked

Why the owl was so wise?

The owl replied gently,

‘See here, my large eyes?

 

‘With them I can see,

The most darkest of nights

And with my ears I can hear,

Tears falling so light’

 

Then the bird closed his eyes

And said a quiet prayer,

Of respect, warmth and gratitude,

For the owls loving care.

 

By Michelle

13/11/2009

DEDICATED TO ALL MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS AND SUPPORT PEOPLE.

37

Michelle,
I enjoyed your poem. 🙂

I finally sent a response to my mother’s gushy email after Christmas. Again, I had anxiety later in the day after sending it. I have not heard back from her. I suppose she’s hurt, but I strongly suspect she’s angry and using her silent treatment response; and, what she doesn’t understand is…. I welcome the silent treatment nowdays. More time to work on “me” rather than giving my emotional energy to her!

In the response, I pointed out that she asked, so I was answering honestly. I only touched on little bits because I know my whole life story surrounding her would be too much to swallow. I told her I thought she should stop wearing down her mom (89 years old) with her emotional problems and grief. She already has little to think about besides worrying about others. Not only that, but she lies to my grandma (which I didn’t mention to her in the response), so, I told her I thought she should stop it given all the other people she has to lean on.

I said I had uncovered some lies in 2011 from different people and it was devastating. I didn’t say the majority were from her.

I told her I was sick of my life of misery; the shadows of fear, anxiety, depression, and anger always following me. That I need to make permanent changes and I have a lot of work to do in seeking truth and turning everything around. I pointed out that I’m responsible for my own healing not hers, and vice versa. And, that my mental health comes first in my life now, not hers.

I was honest, but I suppose somewhere in there she could find some injury. I haven’t heard back from her and that was yesterday morning. I haven’t thought about it much either, but I did experience some anxiousness last night. I can assume that’s the reason. I stood up for myself on a fairly small issue. Imagine what would happen if I told her the WHOLE story, which would take the majority of 2012, haha!

My sister who moved away. I apologized to her again because we corresponded several times in the past 3 days. She did not acknowledge my apology, just skimmed over it as if I never said it. My apology was for ever hurting her in any misdirected anger or pain. Now, having done that, I feel free. Free of any obligation and free in that I did the most humble and honest thing. Her ignoring it has not hindered that feeling of freedom. Only solidified her pride and inability to communicate. I feel okay with it, but I’ve learned also that because i feel okay right now, doesn’t mean I will in 10 minutes. I’ll work through that if the time comes. I am more prepared to let my mother or my sister go now. I feel like I’ve ended it on the best terms I can personally muster. Which is better than either of them can say. I’m free of guilt, and that’s huge. Thanks for listening and peace to all!!
xoxo,
Mimi

38

Hi Michelle
Congrats on being off the Oxy. Best of luck with that.
Your poem brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing it and for including me in the dedication!
It is beautiful.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Mimi
YAY for all the work you have done around this family issue. Thank you for sharing your points to your mother and your insights. (and yay yay that YOU and your health come first now! that is fantastic!)
Hugs, Darlene

39

Thank you Darlene!! Being heard is so valuable!!
Love to you,
Mimi

40

Hi Darlene,
This is the first time I read this post and I can definitely relate to a lot of what you are saying! I agree with your statement, “At first I only believed that I could feel better enough to get out of bed in the morning and finish raising my kids”…(my kids are 6 & 13- a girl & boy. I have felt this way too, especially this past year. I had difficulty getting out of bed, due to my depression.

I now see that my depressions are triggered by abuse…my last depression came out of how I was treated in a work situation. I was devalued by others, which made me feel rejected and sad. I know not everyone is going to like me, but I have the right to be treated as an equal!…The women I worked with, reminded me of my mother. It was not a good fit for ME.

My confidence was really shaken. I beat myself up for letting them have power over me. The truth is, I did not let them, they were friends and banded together and I was singled out…I trusted my instincts- I could not prove it to my boss, but I know the truth and it was hard to deal with. I’m glad I got out of there, by my choice to ask for a pink slip. I never got one of those, but it was a ticket to my freedom to work on myself! I did feel shame, however, I know I made the right decision for ME. I got off track again but one thing triggers other memory for me…Thanks for Listening!
Sincerely, SMD

41

Hi SMD
I can relate to what you said too. The kind of situation you are talking aobut you are so powerless. I think the depression comes from that powerlessness and the powerlessness comes from the way we have been raised to regard ourselves. Round and Round… for me with healing came major changes, all for the good!
Hugs, Darlene

42

SMD,
I think I wrote before about a similar situation that happened to me at work. I ended up quitting too. I really valued that job and thought I would retire from there. My supervisor said she didn’t have proof also. She got to the point that she started treating me like I was a “whiner”. I went over her head, and that proved to be nothing but more spoonfuls of crap. She too basically said, just swallow it. We all mistreat each other at times. I was so injured by all of that. It was a heartbreaking experience and caused a lot of damage to my self esteem and value. I’m happy for you that you could get out of the situation. I feel for the people who have no choice but to stay and take it.

I hope that if this kind of drama presents itself in the future, I will have new tools with which to handle it. That it won’t result in me crumbling and being heartbroken….. that I won’t be so weak that I can’t handle it. It was all about my mother too. The nerves surrounding the damage she did have resided just beneath my skin, although I didn’t even know it at the time. It was just an unfortunate situation and I hope to be stronger in the future. It really got me off track too.

I’m more self aware now. I know what happened in hindsight ~ that the pain was actually from a wound my mother caused, and my coworker just ripped the scab off. I’m thankful for this knowledge now. Good luck in your future employment endeavors. I hope and pray for a great new job when I’m ready…. I’ll pray it for you too.
xoxo,
Mimi

43

Mimi,
Thanks for your validation..Wow!..we’ve had such similar experiences with work conditions and our dear old moms. I too hope I will be able to handle stress & abuse better without falling apart. It adds to the damage, when you feel powerless. I am stronger than I was and the DBT skills I use every day, help me to cope. I don’t disassociate as much and my lows aren’t extreme. The pain I experienced with that work situation was also from a wound my mom caused and salt was added to it, from my co-workers. I’m content not working outside of my home for now, but I may have to venture out again. I have options and my first priority is to my healing. I’ll continue to job search, but I’m not going to kill myself doing it lol….
Big Hugs,
SMD

44

SMD,
It’s remarkable the likenesses that fill these pages isn’t it?? I think I find similarities so shocking because I thought I was alone. I suppose that’s part of the abuse as well. Mother told me I was alone basically. That she was all I had; that my family was on her “side”, etc. The flip side of that was she didn’t want me either. She didn’t say it, but her actions spoke louder on that point.

May I ask, is DBT Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?? Curious because I bought a workbook at the beginning of the year that teaches this therapy. I’m not that far into it, but it’s really awesome the things I’m learning from it.

I was seeing a counselor, but my appts have lapsed so I’m not going back for now. The thing I think is kind of strange is, she never brought this up to me. (DBT) I’d not even heard of it until I literally stumbled upon this book online somehow. It was no accident I’m sure. Your comment about it intrigued me. I had sort of put the book aside, but now I’m going to make it a point to work through it. It’s an excellent book. I suppose I put it aside because other things became more important, but I know this healing has to come first in all things, for a while at least. That’s the whole reason I’m not working now, or going to school. I gotta use this time wisely, it won’t last forever. I do look at the newspaper for jobs, but I’m certainly not killing myself either. hehe!!

Darlene,
Thank you for clarifying that powerlessness fueled depression. I think it has for me too, I just didn’t know what it was really ~ the cause. I know there could be any number of causes, but powerlessness is a big thing for me ~ maybe for everyone I suppose. It sucks the life out of me. It shushes my emotions and voice. No wonder it feeds depression!! Ahh, I love these revelations!! As always, thank you for your help!!

With love,
Mimi

45

Hi Mimi,
Yes, DBT is Dialectical Behavior Therapy. My last counselor recommended it. There are workbooks out there, but I had to enter an outpatient day program 5XW for 6 weeks. I was working at the time, so I had to ask for a LOA. I did not know what to expect, since I did not know this therapy. I did do some research on-line and it sounded so practical in teaching every day coping skills, which is what I needed. At the time, I was overwhelmed with emotions.

I didn’t know where all my anxiety was coming from. DBT teaches you Emotion Regulation, Mindfulness, Distraction, & Radical Acceptance. The founder of DBT (Marcia Linehan)just admitted in an interview, that she developed these skills for herself, because she suffered from Mental illness- Borderline Personality Disorder. She was actually an inpatient as a teen, with self destructive behavior- cutting herself. She had an interesting life story & now look at her- helping others. I find that to be inspiring, because she has been there and can truly empathize with the pain.

Anyway, that’s my speel on DBT for today. I highly recommend it from my own experience. Keep me posted if you decide to use your DBT workbook. I saw the workbook at Barnes & Noble and it looked great…it has plenty of room for journaling about your feelings and applying the skills. Good Luck to you and I hear you about the job situation…it won’t last forever, so I’m going to spend my time wisely too. Actually, another DBT skill is Wise Mind- look that up…lol
Sincerely, SMD

46

SMD,
Wow…. thank you for the insight. The workbook I have is authored by Melanie Gordon Sheets. In the acknowledgements, she thanks Dr. Marsha Linehan for inspiration and laying the groundwork for the book/program. So, I’m happy to know the additional information you posted. I didn’t know anything about her.

I wish I could attend the program you attended, but I don’t think it’s offered where I’m at. Everyday coping skills are what I need too. I’m no longer overwhelmed with emotions, but, I’m afraid when I get back into “life”, working, school, etc, that I won’t have the skills needed to handle things differently than I have in the past. Anxiety has plagued me too at times.

I will have to google her and see what it brings up. Interesting though, I did do some research on BPD and found I had a lot of the traits. That scared the crap out of me!!

I’ll look up wise mind too!! 🙂

Thanks for posting this. Great information!!

Peace and love,
Mimi

47

Mimi
don’t let “diagnosis” scare you. I was diagnosed with several things. All that was information which is very interesting but knowing a diagnosis never helped me heal. It was looking at HOW that stuff happened to me ~ the root cause that I am always talking about where I found the healing. (people hate it when I say things like this, but for me it was true. I didn’t do the treatment for bi polar OR DID in order to heal, I looked at when and why those “disorders” began. )
Hugs, Darlene

48

Darlene,
Thanks for clarifying. I don’t dislike anything you post, because you are a survivor and an anormous inspiration. I want what you have…. the path to get there matters not in the grand scheme of things.

BPD was something I “self-diagnosed” and I know the truth about that. Self diagnoses are rarely a brilliant idea. Haha!! When I saw the characteristics and how I relate to them, I decided I wouldn’t carry that diagnosis, as in how it defines me. After all, I did diagnose myself.

That said, I have purposefully NOT said I have BPD. I don’t want a label, I want healing. I’ve learned from you that the labels don’t really mean anything, and that it does nothing to propel a person into healing. I almost think it could be more damaging, for me anyhow. So, thank you for reiterating and making sure I understand the TRUTH about healing. I’m so grateful for the stuff I learn here.

Like everyone else, I want to be better. I want to function with zest for life. I did pick the workbook up again today because I feel like I never learned any coping skills. I feel in my heart that I need to figure out a different way to handle things in everyday life. It would be awesome if skills just fell into place as a result of the healing work I’m doing, finding my voice, taking back power, etc. I’m afraid it won’t. I’m afraid period. It’s so hard to trust myself and my thoughts, actions, everything!! I do want to finish the workbook, as a plan B ~ in case I get into a position where I desperately need a way to cope without falling apart. I hope this makes sense. 🙂

With love,
Mimi

49

Hi Mimi
Yes, it is about rejecting the label, after all, a label is yet another way that we are “defined”. And it doesn’t matter WHO gives you the label. I was diagnosed by professionals.
My family used my diagnosis against me as though it were PROOF that there WAS something wrong with me. My life got way worse when I had been diagnosed. It was like “OH THAT is what is wrong with “her”. I had an extra layer to fight against because of the diagnosis. (but I did it! and I won!!)
Hugs! Darlene

50

Hi Mimi,
I agree with Darlene in respect to labeling yourself. It is another way we are defined. I had anxiety over being labeled again, in my 40’s. I felt ashamed & offended for being labeled but I gave DBT a chance and it worked for me. I also believe Darlene’s way of looking at the root cause to the damage leads to healing. I was just sharing one way that worked for me in coping with anxiety/depression. Actually, I don’t have BPD but I have some traits, which is only part of me, not who I am as a PERSON. Sorry the diagnosis scared you, that was not my intention. Sincerely, SMD

Darlene,
I know you haven’t directed any comments to me, however, I just want to apologize, if I was overstepping the bounds, by advocating a therapy on your site. I totally respect your approach and it’s helped me in a different way, than the DBT. I love reading your posts & commenting on EFB. I promise I won’t talk about therapies anymore. I don’t like being defined by a diagnosis either, and it does add to the extra layer of damage, that needs to be peeled away for healing to occur. Sincerely, SMD

51

Awww, I hope I didn’t give an impression that YOU scared me or anything you said, SMD.

Just to clarify, I scared MYself when I went digging and saw that I had some of the traits that fall into a group labeled BPD.

Also, I asked specifically about DBT, and I was inspired by your answer(s). I appreciate it your input.

For me personally, no matter what traits, symptoms, labels, etc…. the truth is, I honestly DO want to learn better coping skills. Certainly I never learned any effective ones. Even before I ever found this site, or read about BPD, I knew my coping skills were ineffective when it came to major events. I’ve known it for a very long time. So, please know that no one scared me except ME… haha!!

Thanks to you both,
Mimi

52

SMD ~
No worries. I am not against therapy. I used to believe that therapy was the only way, but today I know different. I am not against anyone talking about therapy or explaining what kind of therapy they are in or what has worked for them. What I don’t like is when someone says that someone else SHOULD or has to do it because it is the only answer. I don’t like it when someone says “you must get therapy”. You have not done that so no worries! I used to get so excited about a diagnoisis.. but that was becuase it seemed like an answer in a sea of questions. Today I know that the diagnosis did not acutally assist in the cure! That is all I am getting at about diagnosis. Nothing wrong with having one as long is it doesn’t interfere with the healing work!
Love Darlene

53

Mimi and SMD
Here is something that really made me think about all this very differently as I came along in my healing process and I say it here only for “food for thought”. I found out that my depressions, bi polar and dissociative identity disorder were ALL coping methods too and when I got to the roots of where they originated, and corrected the lies in my false belief system, I didn’t need them anymore.
Hugs! Darlene

54

Darlene,
I am trying to get to the very roots of anxiety too. I have found that I’m not sure I can remember back that far…to the first time I experienced it. Did you ever come up against that roadblock in your recovery? My memories of childhood are pretty sketchy.
Thanks,
Mimi

55

Mimi
I thought that was going to be the reason I couldn’t go as far as I wanted to, but the belief system formed from many events. Perhaps I use the word “roots” too much! It is really about discovering what I believed about myself from however young.. I started with the first memories I had. (I had very few) and by the time I looked at 2 events, lights were going on like crazy! I focused on what I could remember, and didn’t worry about what I didn’t remember!
Hugs! Darlene

56

Hi Darlene & Mimi,
I appreciate you both for clarifying your point of views. Darlene, it’s coincidental that you mention your mental health problems/diagnoses were all coping skills. I was also pondering that same thought, the other day. That is how I protected myself from facing the pain & trauma. Thanks for the food for thought and the Love!

Mimi,
I appreciate your positive input in wanting to learn better coping skills…It does help from my experience…Certainly,it doesn’t hurt. Keep me posted on your progress with this. Peace out Mimi…..

Sincerely, SMD

57

Darlene,
Now that I read your comment, I think you’ve mentioned this before. Sorry for asking you to repeat. Amid all the emotions and energy involved in recovering, I lose some key points in the process. Thanks for reinforcing.
xoxo,
Mimi

58

I had to hear things over and over again too. It is because we heard the same (false) message for years and years.. the new messsage has to be enforced (cemented) the same way…over time. One of these days I have to start doing everything in audio to save time!
Hugs,!
Darlene

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